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Parnell criticizes Begich over health care stance

Posted: November 13, 2013 - 10:22pm

JUNEAU — Two of Alaska’s highest profile politicians traded barbs Wednesday over the federal health care law.

Republican Gov. Sean Parnell told U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, in a letter that he should “do what is right for Alaskans” and vote to repeal or “substantially change” the law as it relates to private health insurance choices. Insurance companies have been sending cancellation notices to individuals with policies that do not meet requirements under the law.

“We are witnessing the destruction of private insurance as an option for Alaskans and all Americans,” Parnell said. “You must not stand by and watch it happen, particularly where you helped create this unfolding catastrophe upon us.”

Begich, in a statement, said he appreciates Parnell’s concern and hopes he will direct it “to the 40,000 Alaskans currently being denied affordable health care as a direct result of his refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion.”

“The refusal to expand Medicaid coupled with the refusal to manage a State of Alaska healthcare exchange has severely limited the ability of Alaskans to successfully sign up for health care insurance,” he said.

Begich has been pressing Parnell to expand Medicaid under the law. Parnell is expected to announce a decision on whether to do so soon.

Both men face re-election next year. Parnell’s lieutenant governor and a former commissioner are among the Republicans challenging Begich.

Parnell’s letter was sent the same day the federal government released initial enrollment figures for insurance through online marketplaces. Those figures showed 53 Alaskans signed up for private insurance through the site during the first month.

Alaska was one of 36 states that relied on the federally run site — which has suffered glitches since its rollout on Oct. 1 — rather than taking the lead itself or implementing its own exchange.

In deciding to let the federal government set up the exchange for Alaska, Parnell in 2012 said “federally mandated programs should be paid for by federal dollars.”

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KenaiKardinal88 11/14/13 - 03:37 pm
Begich Should Be Fired - Immediately

Anchorage liberal Mark Begich not only was a key vote for Obamacare, he is still not in favor of repealing it.

Parnell has protected Alaska from Obama's Federal Over-reach, but Begich deserves the blame for this fiasco.

Vote Begich out!

Doberg907 11/15/13 - 06:34 am
medical insurance for Alaskans

It is unfortunate that Senator Begich is under attack for supporting the ACA, which will prove to be as valuable to America's economy as Medicare and Social Security have been and continue to be. Medicaid should also be expanded for Alaskans as provided under the ACA. In a nation and state as wealthy as the USA and Alaska there is no reason for anyone to not have health care insurance. If a family or individual lacks the resources to pay for the protection than it is morally and economically correct that we pool our resources to help the less fortunate. Such protection is a wise investment in our economic future since a healthy community and workforce is a more productive community and workforce. I expect Governor Parnell will eventually support Medicaid expansion ( since it is in Alaska's economic interest ) and the political posturing will slowly but surely disappear over the ACA.

Suss 11/15/13 - 01:49 pm
Parnell will not join Obama

Parnell will not be embracing the expansion of Medicaid. So does that mean all those that fall through the cracks are on their own and no way to pay these medical bills? Does the State lose more money with this decision?

Raoulduke 11/15/13 - 08:28 pm
vote out?

KK-88 What is meant by the term "COMMIE FISHER"S? A poll take by the Clarion about how many people were affected by the government shutdown.Indicated one out of every three people on the Peninsula were affected by the shutdown.Yep! A real smart,and very helpful move for the constituents don't You think? Don't you think the signers of this pledge committed FRAUD,PERJURY,and TREASON by doing so? The ACA is Law.

Raoulduke 11/18/13 - 03:31 am
the gov.

Parnell,The governor( oil corporate LOBBYIST) chastises Begich.When Parnell sells out the Alaskan on a daily basis.Sounds like the hypocritical politics in play for a bad Alaskans settle for SCUM leadership.

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